After watching the action in the first three days of the competition, Republic of Ireland and Sweden will be in action on Monday 13 June in the Group E clash to be staged at the Stade De France.
Heading to the game the Swedes look the outright favorites but football can bear surprises. Ireland will be seeking their first ever win over Sweden in competitive action after losing four times and managing two draws.
The teams were in the same qualifying group for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Sweden came from behind to win 2-1 in Dublin, with goals from Johan Elmander and Anders Svensson, after drawing 0-0 in Solna, yet neither country made it to Brazil
It is a given that Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Sweden star who plies his trade in France will be the star attraction in the game, and this being his final major tournament the striker will be out to leave a big mark.
The Swedes however run the risk of heading to the match a divided house after reports of a training ground bust up on Friday. Angry words were exchanged between striker John Guidetti and midfielder Albin Ekdal, while Guidetti also argued with assistant trainer Peter Wettergren during Friday’s session.
This led to the Swedes deciding not to open Saturday’s training to the media for the usual 15 minutes though Press officer Niklas Bodell later explained to reporters that the reason for the behind-closed-doors session was that the team wanted to concentrate on tactical details.
For Ireland, it is a more united team with all the players more or less at the same level, a perfect mix for a team out to fight for one another and they will be looking forward to the match.
However a few members of the team will remember too well their trip to France, specifically at the Stade de France in 2009 when facing France in the final playoff game ahead of the 2010 World Cup in an incident where Thierry Henry controlled a ball with the hand and set up William Gallas who scored the goal that dumped out Ireland when they were so close.
Captain Robbie Keane was part of that team and he will want to forget it so quick.
“It’s like any game you play. You have to forget about it as soon as possible. This is a completely different situation,” Keane said.
“We’re playing against a completely different team and the players and coaching staff are fully focused on the Swedish game.”
The match kicks off at 7pm EAT.